Despite the more than 37 million Americans living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), many treatment options for those with the most advanced stages of the disease haven’t changed in 40 years. The burden of the increasingly stagnant kidney care landscape has been borne by those it was meant to serve, leaving the disease under-diagnosed and outdated treatments failing to meet the needs of too many - creating deep inequities in kidney health.
Nine out of 10 people with CKD don’t even know they have the disease.2018 USRDS Annual Report That statistic is unacceptable. No matter who or where people are in their journey, we must make care more understandable, more accessible and more tailored to individual needs. We cannot treat kidney disease without breaking down the barriers that disproportionately impact Black, Hispanic, or other historically disadvantaged communities, with individuals frequently under-diagnosed and struggling to overcome barriers to equitable care.
At CVS Kidney Care, our goal is to bring optimal kidney health to everyone. We have made a five-year $600 million commitment to addressing social justice and equity issues, including the Lyfebulb-CVS Kidney Care Innovation Challenge. Our goal is to help identify solutions that can break down barriers facing those with a greater kidney health risk and those already on dialysis. The challenge will look for strategic, creative, and scalable concepts, ranging from early to mature product development, designed to:
Encourage kidney health
Improve early evaluation for kidney disease
Educate health care providers and patients around kidney function
Increase cultural empathy among health care workers
Remove social barriers that affect kidney health outcomes
Increase the diversity of nephrologists
We want to hear ideas directly from those impacted most by CKD and support the patient-led entrepreneurs identifying innovative ways to reimagine kidney health. By working with the communities that understand this disease best, we can surface solutions for a better, healthier future.
The challenge comes at a critical time for our health care system – which is why we can’t stop our efforts at “good enough.” We must continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible to move beyond just helping people survive – and instead, empowering them to thrive.
If you are interested in joining us on our mission to drive innovation for kidney disease patients, we hope you’ll submit your idea here.